Background: The evidence of the relationship between fiber intake and control of diabetes is mixed. The purpose of this study was to determine if an increase in dietary fiber affects glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and fasting blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Methods: Randomized studies published from January 1, 1980, to December 31, 2010, that involved an increase in dietary fiber intake as an intervention, evaluated HbA1c and/or fasting blood glucose as an outcome, and used human participants with known type 2 diabetes mellitus were selected for review.
Results: Fifteen studies met inclusion and exclusion criteria. The overall mean difference of fiber versus placebo was a reduction of fasting blood glucose of 0.85 mmol/L (95% CI, 0.46-1.25). Dietary fiber as an intervention also had an effect on HbA1c over placebo, with an overall mean difference of a decrease in HbA1c of 0.26% (95% CI, 0.02-0.51).
Conclusion: Overall, an intervention involving fiber supplementation for type 2 diabetes mellitus can reduce fasting blood glucose and HbA1c. This suggests that increasing dietary fiber in the diet of patients with type 2 diabetes is beneficial and should be encouraged as a disease management strategy.